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Sam Hobbs’ second-half try proved decisive as Cardiff Blues got back to winning ways in the RaboDirect PRO12 with a 17-13 victory over Treviso.
The Blues lost 39-21 against Ulster last weekend but, after making ten changes from that game, head coach Phil Davies saw his side pick up their third league win of the season.
Many of Cardiff’s stars were away on international duty, but they raced into a 10-0 lead as Kristian Dacey dotted down in the first half.
But the Italian outfit fought back, and actually led at half-time after some impressive kicking from Mat Berquist and a try from Michele Campagnaro.
But prop Hobbs forced his way over after the break to seal a timely win for the Blues, which leaves Treviso with just the one victory this term in the RaboDirect PRO12.
The opening exchanges saw both sides feeling each other out, the hosts were looking most threatening but it took until the 14th minute until the deadlock was broken.
Gareth Davies squirmed his way through a gap in the Treviso defence, who were caught offside, and then added the three points from a penalty.
Three minutes later the hosts added to their advantage. It stemmed from a Treviso scrum, but Andries Pretorius picked the ball up, found Lewis Jones who in turn fed Dacey who bundled his way over from three metres.
The wind at Cardiff Arms Park was strong, but Treviso fly-half Berquist was having little difficulty with his kicking game and he notched two quick-fire penalties before the half-hour.
The visitors then took the lead when Campagnaro crashed over on 32 minutes.
The Italian centre supported Robert Barbieri well on the overlap, and he finished under the posts – Berquist added the extras.
It was an advantage Treviso deserved, they had spent the previous ten minutes camped in the Cardiff half, and they took it into half-time.
Josh Navidi tried to step his way through just after the break for the hosts but he was halted in his progress.
Pretorius, too, was stopped in his tracks, this time by the referee, as the flanker thought he had scored but a forward pass earlier in the move proved costly.
There was no stopping Hobbs moments later, though. He forced his way over the line, in the middle of the posts, to regain the lead for the Blues after full-back Dan Fish was initially held up.
Davies converted and the hosts found themselves 17-13 up with 54 minutes gone.
Treviso did try to force their way back into the game, but the Blues defence held strong for the most part and in fact they could have added to their lead in the latter stages.
Navidi was again held up as Cardiff pressurised in the Treviso 22, but it mattered little as they saw the game out.